Edmund Burke Quotes & Wallpapers

Edmund Burke
Total Quotes: 645


To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ, as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country and to mankind. Edmund Burke
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Society is indeed a contract.... As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Edmund Burke
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In a free country every man thinks he has a concern in all public matters,-that he has a right to form and a right to deliver an opinion on them. This it is that fills countries with men of ability in all stations. Edmund Burke
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As to great and commanding talents, they are the gift of Providence in some way unknown to us, they rise where they are least expected; they fail when everything seems disposed to produce them, or at least to call them forth. Edmund Burke
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Neither the few nor the many have a right to act merely by their will, in any matter connected with duty, trust, engagement, or obligation. Edmund Burke
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Old religious factions are volcanoes burnt out. Edmund Burke
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The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear. Edmund Burke
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Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found. Edmund Burke
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I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people. Edmund Burke
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Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. Edmund Burke
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I am not one of those who think that the people are never in the wrong. They have been so, frequently and outrageously, both in other countries and in this. But I do say that in all disputes between them and their rulers, the presumption is at least upon a par in favour of the people. Edmund Burke
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But a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country. A disposition, to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution. Edmund Burke
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"War," says Machiavelli, "ought to be the only study of a prince;" and by a prince he means every sort of state, however constituted. "He ought," says this great political doctor, "to consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes ability to execute military plans. "A meditation on the conduct of political societies made old Hobbes imagine that war was the state of nature. Edmund Burke
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The wisdom of our ancestors. Edmund Burke
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Some degree of novelty must be one of the materials in almost every instrument which works upon the mind; and curiosity blends itself, more or less, with all our pleasures. Edmund Burke
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Reflect how you are to govern a people who think they ought to be free, and think they are not. Your scheme yields no revenue; it yields nothing but discontent, disorder, disobedience; and such is the state of America, that after wading through up to your eyes in blood, you could only end up where you begun; that is, to tax where no revenue is to be found... all is confusion beyond it. Edmund Burke
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When slavery is established in any part of the world, those who are free are by far the most proud and jealous of their freedom. Edmund Burke
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A nation without means of reform is without means of survival. Edmund Burke
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There is a time when the hoary head of inveterate abuse will neither draw reverence nor obtain protection. Edmund Burke
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It is by bribing, not so often by being bribed, that wicked politicians bring ruin on mankind. Avarice is a rival to the pursuits of many. Edmund Burke
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Our manners, our civilization, and all the good things connected with manners and civilization, have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles: I mean the spirit of a gentleman, and the spirit of religion. Edmund Burke
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I own that there is a haughtiness and fierceness in human nature which will cause innumerable broils, place men in what situation you please. Edmund Burke
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Prejudice renders a man's virtue his habit, and a series of unconnected arts. Though just prejudice, his duty becomes a part of his nature. Edmund Burke
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Religion, to have any force upon men's understandings,-indeed, to exist at all,-must be supposed paramount to law, and independent for its substance upon any human institution, else it would be the absurdest thing in the world,-an acknowledged cheat. Edmund Burke
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Nothing ought to be more weighed than the nature of books recommended by public authority. So recommended, they soon form the character of the age. Edmund Burke
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I do not hesitate to say that the road to eminence and power, from an obscure condition, ought not to be made too easy, nor a thing too much of course. If rare merit be the rarest of all things, it ought to pass through some sort of probation. The temple of honor ought to be seated on an eminence. If it be open through virtue, let it be remembered, too, that virtue is never tried but by some difficulty and some struggle. Edmund Burke
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Nothing so effectually deadens the taste of the sublime as that which is light and radiant. Edmund Burke
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One source of the sublime is infinity. Edmund Burke
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I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. Edmund Burke
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There is nothing in the world really beneficial that does not lie within the reach of an informed understanding and a well-protected pursuit. Edmund Burke
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Evils we have had continually calling for reformation, and reformations more grievous than any evils. Edmund Burke
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You cannot plan the future by the past. Edmund Burke
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Tell me what are the prevailing sentiments that occupy the minds of your young men, and I will tell you what is to be the character of the next generation. Edmund Burke
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What shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart. Edmund Burke
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In a free country every man thinks he has a concern in all public matters, - that he has a right to form and a right to deliver an opinion on them. This it is that fills countries with men of ability in all stations. Edmund Burke
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War, says Machiavel, ought to be the only study of a prince; and by a prince he means every sort of state, however constituted. He ought, says this great political doctor, to consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes ability to execute military plans. Edmund Burke
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Poetry is the art of substituting shadows, and of lending existence to nothing. Edmund Burke
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All virtue which is impracticable is spurious. Edmund Burke
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All writers on the science of policy are agreed, and they agree with experience, that all governments must frequently infringe the rules of justice to support themselves; that truth must give way to dissimulation, honesty to convenience, and humanity itself to the reigning of interest. The whole of this mystery of iniquity is called the reason of state. Edmund Burke
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Government is the exercise of all the great qualities of the human mind. Edmund Burke
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Some decent regulated pre-eminence, some preference (not exclusive appropriation) given to birth, is neither unnatural, nor unjust, nor impolite. Edmund Burke
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Hypocrisy is no cheap vice; nor can our natural temper be masked for many years together. Edmund Burke
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The individual is foolish; the multitude, for the moment is foolish, when they act without deliberation; but the species is wise, and, when time is given to it, as a species it always acts right. Edmund Burke
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Good order is the foundation of all things. Edmund Burke
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But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Edmund Burke
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Religious persecution may shield itself under the guise of a mistaken and over-zealous piety. Edmund Burke
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The traveller has reached the end of the journey! Edmund Burke
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Education is the cheap defense of nations. Edmund Burke
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It is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found everywhere. Edmund Burke
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If you can be well without health, you may be happy without virtue. Edmund Burke
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Society is indeed a contract. It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Edmund Burke
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Knowledge of those unalterable Relations which Providence has ordained that every thing should bear to every other...To these we should conform in good Earnest; and not think to force Nature, and the whole Order of her System, by a Compliance with our Pride, and Folly, to conform to our artificial Regulations. Edmund Burke
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A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood. Edmund Burke
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Custom reconciles us to every thing. Edmund Burke
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When we speak of the commerce with our colonies, fiction lags after truth, invention is unfruitful, and imagination cold and barren. Edmund Burke
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All persons possessing any portion of power ought to be strongly and awfully impressed with an idea that they act in trust and that they are to account for their conduct in that trust to the one great Master, Author, and Founder of society. Edmund Burke
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The men of England - the men, I mean of light and leading in England. Edmund Burke
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Here this extraordinary man [Charles Townsend], then Chancellor of the Exchequer, found himself in great straits. To please universally was the object of his life; but to tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men. However he attempted it. Edmund Burke
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He that accuses all mankind of corruption ought to remember that he is sure to convict only one. Edmund Burke
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The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise isgone! it isgone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness. Edmund Burke
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All wealth is power, so power must infallibly draw wealth to itself by some means or other. Edmund Burke
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All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke
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There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity - the law of nature, and of nations. Edmund Burke
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Nothing tends so much to the corruption of science as to suffer it to stagnate; these waters must be troubled before they can exert their virtues. Edmund Burke
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A great empire and little minds go ill together. Edmund Burke
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I would rather sleep in the southern corner of a little country churchyard than in the tomb of the Capulets. Edmund Burke
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My hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron. Edmund Burke
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The most favourable laws can do very little towards the happiness of people when the disposition of the ruling power is adverse to them. Edmund Burke
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Prejudice is of ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, skeptical, puzzled and unresolved. Prejudice renders a man's virtue his habit; and not a series of unconnected acts. Through past prejudice, his duty becomes part of his nature. Edmund Burke
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A nation is not conquered which is perpetually to be conquered. Edmund Burke
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